Friday, 14 January 2011

In the bag

Whilst travelling to the office the other morning, I was interested to see this going on:

They're updating the big "4" outside the Channel 4 TV studios.  I shall take another picture when it's finished.  I bet you can't wait.

As I was getting off the train last night, my attention was caught by a lady with many bags and bundles and cases.  She was dressed rather eccentrically, plenty of draped shawls and artistic scarves and things, her long grey hair in plaits like something out of Little House on the Prairie.

She was fussing and chattering as one of the other commuters helped her with her bags, handing them to her and then stepping down onto the platform himself.  He was still carrying a strange green wicker basket - clearly not his own - as they walked towards the car park.  She was chuntering away at him, he was trying to hand her the basket and walk off to get to his car, too polite to just shove it into her be-mittened hands and stride into the darkness while she was still talking to him.

I was stuck walking behind them, as she was quite slow, and her suitcase on wheels was giving her trouble, taking up the entire width of the path as it swung back and forth behind her.  To be honest, she struck me as someone whose things would always give her trouble.

Anyhoo.  The polite commuter kept trying to hand her the green basket, and she resolutely ignored it, chattering away at him as she wrapped her shawls and scarves around herself in the rain, struggling to keep her suitcase in a semi-straight line.
"Gosh," I thought.  "She's making that kind man carry her basket all the way back to her car."

As we all got into the car park, several waiting cars with engines running and headlights helpfully blinding everyone, another man ran up to the bag lady and her unwilling escort.

"Here!" he called, breatheless and flustered.  "Here!  Wait!"

Everyone turned round, and he said:  "That's my basket!  Give it back!"

The kind commuter was horrified.  "I thought it was hers!" he said, gesticulating at the bag lady with his briefcase, as the flustered man grabbed the green basket from his other hand.

"No!  It's mine! I saw you pick it up from the luggage rack and was trying to stop you!"


The bag lady then turned her attention to the breathless man, and the polite commuter made good his escape, running across the car park to his car and making a tyre-screeching exit.

By the time I had walked to my car, they were out of earshot but it looked like a huge row was brewing as she waved her arms at him, and he flailed about with his green basket.  A smartly-dressed man in a waiting car was beeping his horn and shouting out of his car window, trying to claim the bag lady, but she was enjoying herself far too much.


Isabella Golightly said...

And I thought the late-night L90 from the City to Palm Beach was fun - drunks, security guards, drunk security guards, nazi drivers, nazi security guards, nazi drunks, the wild, the innocent, the L90 shuffle. Hilarious.

Isabella Golightly said...

Also, any thoughts on a birthday frog, Oh Goddess of the Woods? It would be my pleasure.

Ventristwo said...

Hello, LBTW,

It's amazing what one notices if one notices. I enjoyed your well-reported story.
In the US, perhaps the police would have been involved eventually to sort things out. What are the rest of their lives like, the homeless and all the sorts on the edges of society?